A self-educated man who knew no mathematics, Michael Faraday rose from errand boy to become one of Britain's greatest scientists. Faraday made the discoveries upon which most of twentieth-century technology is based and readers of this book will enjoy finding out in how many ways we are indebted to him. The story of his life speaks to us across the years and is a fascinating read, especially when the tale is told with the understanding and gusto that Professor Thomas-one of the UK's leading scientists-brings to the telling.
Faraday took great trouble to make the latest discoveries of science, his own and others', intelligible to the layman, and the tradition he fostered has been kept alive ever since, so that the Royal Institution is as well known for its contributions to education as for its research. Written in a concise, nontechnical style, Michael Faraday and the Royal Institution: The Genius of Man and Place is a human account that provides an introduction to the roots of modern science and ways in which scientists work. The book is lavishly illustrated with drawings, cartoons, photographs, and letters-many never before published. There is no similar book on Faraday that interprets his genius in modern, everyday terms, making it understandable, interesting, and exciting reading for scientists and nonscientists alike.
Table of Contents
Setting the scene
Rumford, Davy and the Royal Institution
From errand boy to the grand tour
Faraday's scientific contributions
Faraday the man
Faraday's influence upon the Royal Institution
The popularization of science
"I wish I had the space to detail the many excellences of this work. I can only say that this is both a good read and the best introduction I know to Faraday and the Royal Institution."
-L. Pearce Williams, Isis
"This volume can be thoroughly recommended to all. Like only the best reads it gives one an appetite to learn more about its topics."
-Sir Hermann Bondi, Cambridge Evening News
"Many volumes have been written about Faraday and his works, but this book is a gem."
-Sir Geoffrey Allen, Chemistry and Industry
"… excellent book …"
-D. Allen Bromley
"As a counter to current political conceits about science, as a window on to a unique and historical institution, and as an inspirational account of one man's triumphant progress in science, this book is warmly recommended."
-Colin Russell, Times Higher Education Supplement
"The book is generously and imaginatively illustrated and is directed to the general reader … Thomas writes with eloquence and grace … an admirable addition to the canon."
-Derek A. Davenport, Bulletin for the History of Chemistry
"… readable, accessible, and admirably captures the spirit of celebration … Thomas has struck his target quite accurately. There is enough here to interest the nonspecialist while professional scientists with a passing acquaintance with Faraday will discover several things that they had not previously appreciated … It is difficult for the reader not to be caught up by Thomas's enthusiasm both for Faraday the man and for the moral and scientific ideals that he came to represent."
"… it offers a lively and accessible introduction to his life and work, and especially to his relationship with the Royal Institution."
-Bruce J. Hunt, Science